International cooperation and preferential treatment in the Republic of Srpska
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Regional Cooperation of RS is responsible for international and regional cooperation and coordination of the European integration and the process of legislation harmonization. In this regard, this Minsitry is a responsible institution in terms of coordination of all activities of the RS institutions and fund management in the process of EU integration. In this context, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Regional Cooperation of RS is responsible for the representation of RS abroad, while the Ministry of Education and Culture of RS is consulted with regard to the promotion of RS through culture and art.
International and regional cultural cooperation is conducted on the following priorities: presentation and promotion of cultural content (export of cultural products of RS); improving the mobility of domestic and foreign artists and cultural workers (influence the legislation and allocate adequate funding for this type of support); and intensive promotion of cultural and artistic content and artists from RS abroad. In this sense, the major developments and activities in the field of international and regional cooperation taking place in accordance with the cultural policy and strategy in RS are:
The budget for international cultural cooperation is incorporated in the budget for culture, and finances cultural institutions and representatives of the Ministry to participate in international projects, programmes and seminars;
The Ministry of Education and Culture of RS plans funds for this purpose and allocates them in accordance with the Regulations on Co-financing of Public Needs in Culture (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 7/10), which serves as a basis to announce competitions;
The Regulations on Specific Criteria and Procedure to Allocate the Games of Chance Revenues (Official Gazette of the Republic of Srpska, No. 110/10) serves as a basis to announce the competition for the allocation of a part of games of chance revenue. The basis for the allocation of these funds by the Ministry is the condition that the organization has already been supported by some of the international donors or funds;
Careful selection of cultural events abroad to support or to send artists to;
Capacity building concerning training of expert staff in the Ministry of Culture and the RS cultural institutions in terms of international cooperation;
Strengthening the participation of RS in international organizations;
Further development of bilateral relations with selected countries, including the cooperation with Serbia and the neighboring countries and countries in the region, Russia, China and the EU.
RS achieves the cooperation with European and international organizations - the Council of Europe, the European Union and UNESCO, UNDP, and other international organizations. In terms of cooperation with UNESCO, in the field of the implementation of UNESCO Conventions, RS has its representatives - experts in this field. As for the EU programmes and Culture Programme 2007-2012, RS established a contact point for culture in 2011. Also, in terms of the film co-production programme Euroimages Fund of the Council of Europe, RS has its representative in this programme.
Bilateral agreements in the field of culture promote networking of artists, as well as public and private institutions dealing with culture and art. All these forms of cooperation allow for the direct contact between the RS artists and artists from abroad.
Numerous visits of local artists abroad marked 2011. The Children's Theatre of RS and Mixed Choir of the Serbian Singing Society "Unity" appeared in Russia, the Banja Luka Philharmonic in Sweden, the chamber choir "Banjalucanke" in Italy and Malta, then cultural and artistic association "Veselin Masleša" performed abroad, the participation of Marina Radulj and Monika Ponjevic, young Banja Luka artists, in the Prague Quadrennial. The exhibition of Mladen Miljanovic was displayed in Berlin and the exhibition "Spaport” of the Centre for Visual Communication "Protok" in Vienna.
In this sense, the numerous presentations of RS and creativity in the field of literature are held at international book fairs in Frankfurt, Thessaloniki, Leipzig and Belgrade, and the presentation of Chamber Choir "Banjalučanke" at the World Choir Games in Cincinnati, the Worker’s Cultural and Artistic Association "Pelagic" in Italy, the Central Cultural and Artistic Association "Veselin Masleša" in Poland and Slovenia, the Serbian Singer Association "Unity" and Serbian Cultural and Artistic Association "Derventa" gave a guest performance in Poland, and the exhibition of Mladen Miljanovic was presented in Venice.